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#Lean: The Worst Root Cause Problem Solver in the Animal World Is…

#Lean: The Worst Root Cause Problem Solver in the Animal World Is…

We all know the beaver is “the engineer of the animal kingdom.” That’s why MIT has a beaver as a mascot… it’s an engineer who likes to build things and is generally nocturnal, an apt description of MIT students. A survey taken by the National Geographic Society has found that the owl, however, is the […]

Weird Al’s Hilarious “Mission Statement” Song & Video Mocks Corporate Buzzwords

Weird Al’s Hilarious “Mission Statement” Song & Video Mocks Corporate Buzzwords

“Weird Al” Yanokvic skewers corporate buzzwords in this new song and music video. He also skewers the now-tired “hand writing on a white board” style of corporate videos, which I think is even more brilliant of him. There are a few somewhat Lean-related buzzwords in the video… the last one looks like it has PDSA […]

Intuit CEO Brad Smith & Lean Thinking

Intuit CEO Brad Smith & Lean Thinking

I was happy to see this article in FORTUNE’s recent issue: “Brad Smith, Intuit CEO: How To Be A Great Leader: Get Out Of The Way.” Smith (@IntuitBrad) talks about the Lean Startup concept often called “getting out of the office” to see how customers live and work.  Toyota would call this “Genchi Genbutsu” (go […]

Podcast #205 – Joe Schnur, Hand Hygiene & Patient Safety

Podcast #205 – Joe Schnur, Hand Hygiene & Patient Safety

MP3 File (run time 32:43) Episode #205 is a conversation with Joe Schnur, VP Business Development at Intelligent M, a company that “designs data-driven hand hygiene compliance  improvement solutions for hospitals that dramatically reduce healthcare-acquired infections and their associated costs.” Joe and I share a passion for improving patient safety and we’ve had a number of […]

A Survey Would Show 83% of Surveys about Lean Healthcare are Dubious?

A Survey Would Show 83% of Surveys about Lean Healthcare are Dubious?

Last month, I saw a headline flying around Twitter about a survey that says a majority of hospital pharmacies are embracing Lean. A statement like that, of course, begs the question of what “embracing” means and we might also ask what “Lean” means in this concept. Hooray, they are doing 5S? Here is the web […]

Report to President Obama Endorses Lean & Systems Engineering in Healthcare

Report to President Obama Endorses Lean & Systems Engineering in Healthcare

I recently saw a tweet that referenced a May 2014 that was sent to President Obama and his administration: “Report to the President - Better HealthCare and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement Through Systems Engineering.” The report was written by the “President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology,” or PCAST, and a working group that includes professors, […]

Podcast #204 – Paul Plsek, Lean & Innovation at Virginia Mason

Podcast #204 – Paul Plsek, Lean & Innovation at Virginia Mason

MP3 File (run time 34:37) Joining me today for Episode #204 is Paul Plsek (@PaulPlsek) and we’re talking about his excellent book (a Shingo Research Award recipient this year) titled Accelerating Health Care Transformation with Lean and Innovation: The Virginia Mason Experience. Virginia Mason, of course, is Virginia Mason Medical Center, the outstanding Lean organization […]

Webinar Recording: What to Do When you Have Lots of Employee Ideas

Webinar Recording: What to Do When you Have Lots of Employee Ideas

At KaiNexus, Dr. Greg Jacobson and I have been doing new webinars each month (see the library here). Our most recent one was hosted by our friends and partners at Gemba Academy, so thanks to them for that and all of their support. Last week’s webinar is archived on our website, which you can access […]

Picking on the PICK Chart

Picking on the PICK Chart

The so-called “PICK chart” has become a pretty common sight in healthcare as a way of visualizing and prioritizing Lean or Kaizen improvement ideas. The concept was supposedly invented at Lockheed Martin, but it’s a pretty common-sensical approach that’s used to sort and rank ideas based on two dimensions: Impact the idea would have (low […]

Just Do It? Don’t Forget to Then Just Study It and Just Adjust It

Just Do It? Don’t Forget to Then Just Study It and Just Adjust It

I had a great conversation with my fellow Lean healthcare blogger, Brian Buck, the other day. We talk about once a month or so… Brian claims I am mentoring him, but it’s a great two-way exchange and discussion that I always learn from. Brian asked a really interesting question: “How many ‘just do its’ are […]

It’s Awful When the Person Teaching #Lean Doesn’t Get the Bad 5S Joke

It’s Awful When the Person Teaching #Lean Doesn’t Get the Bad 5S Joke

Long-time readers might remember this post of mine from February 2007: Bad Lean/5S Hits the UK Media Please check out that post. It’s a classic example of what I shortly thereafter started (in March 2007) calling “L.A.M.E.” or Lean As Misguidedly Explained. In that post, I shared a picture from the UK news article that typifies […]

My Boss “Blanks” #Lean

My Boss “Blanks” #Lean

As a child of the 70s and 80s, I like classic game shows. Last week, I used a photo from “Family Feud” in a post (albeit the more modern incarnation) and today I have the classic show “Match Game” on my mind. The host, Gene Rayburn, would ask celebrity panelists a question… it was really more […]

Another PDSA: Please Don’t…

Another PDSA: Please Don’t…

PDSA, back to the days of Dr. Deming, has stood for Plan Do Study Adjust. A key point in the application of PDSA (and a key to A3 problem solving), is to avoid jumping to solutions. We Plan — and this includes understanding the problem and the current state of our process or system. We don’t […]

CNN Head Jeff Zucker Doesn’t Realize There’s a Culture of Fear at CNN?

CNN Head Jeff Zucker Doesn’t Realize There’s a Culture of Fear at CNN?

Back in May, I saw news reports about the head of CNN, Jeff Zucker: “CNN boss Zucker shocked by staffer’s fearful question.” Back when I worked for big companies, I had to be an audience member for many “all hands” meetings – either all hands at a local site or, as technology evolved, “all hands […]

A Little Kaizen in Baseball – The Washington Nationals’ Bullpen

A Little Kaizen in Baseball – The Washington Nationals’ Bullpen

I saw this article over the holiday weekend: “Nats install bullpen seating for relievers.” The Washington Nationals relief pitchers asked to have a set of raised bleacher seats installed so they could view the game from above the fence instead of through the fence - see the article link for a picture or see this tweet: Big day […]

The 10 Most Popular LeanBlog Posts for the First Half of 2014

The 10 Most Popular LeanBlog Posts for the First Half of 2014

We’re halfway through the year. What reflections do you have on how the first half of the year is going for you, your team, and your organization? Is it time to “Adjust” as part of the PDSA cycle? Do you have a “strategy deployment” process in place? Here are some of the most popular posts […]

What People Say is Their “Biggest Challenge Related to Innovation and Improvement”

What People Say is Their “Biggest Challenge Related to Innovation and Improvement”

Yesterday’s post was about some of our work at KaiNexus and today’s post is hosted over on the KaiNexus Blog: Challenges to Innovation and Improvement In the post, I share some of the survey reflections that were shared with us by attendees of our webinars (our next one is on July 9, hosted by Gemba Academy). […]

What Does #Lean Flow Look Like in Healthcare? Check Out These Two Videos

What Does #Lean Flow Look Like in Healthcare? Check Out These Two Videos

It’s easy for people to think that Lean is about cost-cutting. That would be wrong, but many people associate Lean with cost cutting. Cost cutting is the old mindset. The old hack and slash approach, which focuses on layoffs or “everybody cut your budget by x%” mandates, dies hard. It’s easy for people to think […]